In 1899 the Liberal government bought the 19,371-hectare Waikākahi Estate from the runholder Allan McLean for denser settlement. A total of 2,283 applications were lodged by 686 people (some applying several times) for 142 sections. This touched-up photo shows the ballot being held to see who got a section. The event was held in the Waimate Courthouse (now the museum) on 28–29 March 1899.
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Reference: Appendices to the Journals of the House of Representatives, 1899, C1
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